Haystack Rock Awareness Program program coordinator Melissa Keyser has been appointed by Gov. Kate Brown to serve on the Oregon Ocean Policy Advisory Council.

The council is a statewide marine policy advisory body that advocates for environmental conservation and coastal community interests. Keyser, who has lead the program charged with protecting the intertidal and bird ecology of Haystack Rock’s marine garden and Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge in Cannon Beach since 2015, heard about the position while serving on another advisory board about preserving the state’s rocky shorelines.

“I am happy to do my part in raising awareness about the vast issues that affect our ocean,” Keyser said. “We all have to be doing more. I didn’t apply because I thought I was better or more qualified than anyone else. I wanted to make more of an impact.”

Her role will be to represent coastal communities when the state looks at addressing environmental issues like ocean acidification, environmental education and plastic pollution.

With her background as an environmental educator, Keyser said she hopes to advocate for environmental programs and solutions that can balance the need for conservation with providing recreational opportunities in Oregon’s natural spaces.

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